The Face of the G.O.P.

Andrew Sullivan:

Isn’t it telling that the Bush administration wants McCain, Arnold and Giuliani as prime-timers for the convention? They’re the three Republicans least in sync with the Bush administration. McCain is as close to a dissident as you can find. And Arnold keeps Bush at arm’s length. A more representative selection would be: Santorum, DeLay, Ashcroft. And then you see why the Bushies won’t let them hog the limelight. Too much honesty could wreck the campaign.

My guess is that Teddy Kennedy, Maxine Waters, and Barney Frank will be in limited visibility at the Democratic National Convention as well. Or, in more parallel fashion, Robert Byrd, Nancy Pelosi, and Janet Reno.

Further, I’d note that the popularity of Schwarzenegger and Guiliani, especially, have little to do with their politics. The former is very likable personally but is mainly known as a bodybuilder and action movie star. The latter’s national acclaim came almost entirely from his superb leadership after 9/11 and he first came to prominence as a tough federal prosecutor and then as a tough-on-crime mayor. McCain’s appeal comes from a variety of factors, including his Vietnam POW heroism and the fact that the press loves him because he’s willing to take public shots at fellow Republicans, making him a great source of easy quotes.

UPDATE: PunditMark notes breaking news that Ted Kennedy will in fact be given a prime time speaking slot: AP — Clinton, Kennedy to Speak at Convention Amazing.

FILED UNDER: 2004 Election, , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Mark says:

    I think Kennedy is being honored at the convention if I read stuff right. I mean, it IS in Boston, after all.

  2. James Joyner says:

    I can’t imagine it’ll be done in prime time. If so, I hope they don’t leave out the loving tributes from Mary Jo Kopechne’s family.

  3. Boyd says:

    Wow, I didn’t realize Sullivan could be so naïve. The President already has the staunch conservatives on his side. The GOP is expanding their reach to include more folks toward the center, trying to sway them to the Republican side for the election.

    I think my 12-year-old daughter would read Sullivan’s comment and say, “Well, duh!”

  4. skillzy says:

    I read somewhere else (Wizbang?) a week or two ago that the Teddy Kennedy shindig happens to fall on the anniversary of Chappaquiddick(?). I wouldn’t be surprised if they reschedule it, or at least play it down.

  5. Bithead says:

    It amazes me Sullivan thinks these people don’t fit into the ush Admin’s thinking… he seems forgetful that Mr. Bush has always not only picthed himself as a centerist, willing to work with all sides, but actually lived up to that reputation, as well.. the usual cries of the far left wackos not withstanding.

    And given the holes punched into Sullivan’s crediblity of late,(most of them by he, himself) he’s a fine one to preach about “too much honesty”

    You’ll forgive me if I don’t phone home on this one.

  6. chris says:

    A couple of points: Kathryn Lopez wished about 6 weeks ago that Sullivan just get it over with and endorse Kerry. He screeds against religious conservatives have grown tiresome; yes, they are an important part of the party, but not the whole thing.

    Secondly, you might as well permanently add the title “Maverick” before Sen. McCain’s title every time you include it in print. The mainstream press already has.

  7. mark says:

    I just read this: Kennedy will be speaking in primetime!

    Now, speaking and being understood are two different things…

  8. McGehee says:

    No Mark — “Maverick” is McCain’s real first name, and “John” is his middle name.

    At least, that’s what I’d concluded. But your version might be true too. 😉

  9. McGehee says:

    Whoops — that was in response to Chris, not Mark. Sorry.

  10. D. Bliss says:

    Two questions for James Joyner: Will Laura Bush speak at the Republican convention? If so, will you note that she’s killed as many people as Ted Kennedy?

    It’s over for you guys and you know it. See you in 2012.